Cristiano Ronaldo rape accuser 'emotionally fragile' and will not appear at press conference

Ronaldo is being sued by Kathryn Mayorga, 34, who claims he sexually assaulted her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 

Samuel Lovett
Wednesday 03 October 2018 11:09
Cristiano Ronaldo dismisses claims he raped woman in Las Vegas hotel as ‘fake news’

The American woman alleging to have been raped by Cristiano Ronaldo is “emotionally fragile” and will not appear at Wednesday’s press conference in Las Vegas as she is currently not speaking to the media, her lawyer has said.

Ronaldo is being sued by Kathryn Mayorga, 34, who claims he sexually assaulted her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 and then dispatched a team of “fixers” to obstruct the criminal investigation and trick her into keeping quiet for $375,000.

The lawsuit says Mayorga, from Nevada, asked police last month to reopen the criminal case, with Las Vegas police confirming on Monday they have reopened a sexual assault case from 2009 that corresponds with the date of Mayorga’s allegation.

Mayorga is currently out of the US and not speaking to the media regarding the lawsuit she filed last week, according to her attorney Larissa Drohobyczer.

“She’s not going to be interviewed,” Drohobyczer told the Associated Press. “At this time she’s emotionally fragile.” Although Mayorga will not be present at Wednesday’s press conference in Las Vegas, her legal representatives are still expected to provide additional details regarding her allegations.

Alongside the accusation of rape, the lawsuit filed by Mayorga accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud, abuse of a vulnerable person, racketeering and civil conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, breach of contract, and negligence for allowing details of the confidential settlement to leak out.

It asks for general damages, special damages, punitive damages and special relief, each in excess of $50,000, along with interest, attorney fees and court costs.

Ronaldo’s representatives did not immediately respond when contacted but after a report on the case in Der Spiegel last week, his lawyer Christian Schertz threatened to sue the German magazine: “It violates the personal rights of our client Cristiano Ronaldo in an exceptionally serious way.”

Ronaldo later appeared to deny the allegations in an Instagram video. “Fake. Fake news,” he said. “You want to promote by my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous, to say my name. But it is part of the job. I am a happy man and all good.”

Drohobyczer, who said she did not represent Mayorga in 2009 negotiations with Ronaldo’s representatives, acknowledged her client accepted the settlement money originally offered by the footballer and his team.

No court document was filed at the time, and Drohobyczer declined to identify the lawyers who handled the case at that time for Mayorga and for Ronaldo.

Drohobyczer said Mayorga became worried that her name would become public after a 2017 media report apparently referred to the June 2009 incident at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Mayorga was not a source for the article, Drohobyczer said.

Her client also was influenced in recent months by the #MeToo movement of women making public allegations of prior sexual assault, the attorney said.

Mayorga met Ronaldo at a nightclub, according to the lawsuit, and went with him and other people to his suite, where the alleged attack took place in a bedroom.

“She came to us and we had concerns with what happened in 2009 ... with the police investigation and the circumstances around the settlement and how the negotiations were conducted,” Drohobyczer told AP.

“We don’t believe she had the capacity to enter an agreement at that time due to her emotional state,” Drohobyczer said. She characterised Mayorga in 2009 as emotionally damaged, fearful, depressed and humiliated after the alleged attack and pressure from Ronaldo’s representatives.

“We asked police to reopen the investigation and they did,” Drohobyczer said.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said that because the investigation is open, the department would not make public the report that Mayorga filed the day of the alleged attack. The lawsuit said Mayorga also went to a hospital, where a sexual assault medical examination was conducted.

Ronaldo denies the allegation of rape

However, Mayorga refused to tell police the location of the alleged attack or to identify a suspect other than to say he was a European soccer player, according to police.

One of Ronaldo’s partners has already expressed their concern regarding the recent allegations made against the footballer.

Save the Children, for whom the Portuguese has served as an ambassador since 2016, said on Tuesday that it is “disheartened” by the reports.

A spokesperson for the charity told The Independent: “We are disheartened by the news report we’ve seen in the last 24 hours and are working to get more information.”

The Independent has contacted a number of Ronaldo’s commercial partners and sponsors for comment.

Samsonite, which has entered into a sponsorship deal with the 33-year-old through its company American Tourister, did not comment.

The Independent is currently awaiting response from Nike, Samsung, EA and other companies associated with the Portuguese.

Additional reporting by AP

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